By Brian K. Sullivan
BOSTON - A winter storm that disrupted a PGA golf tournament in Arizona is expected to drop snow by the foot in parts of the Great Plains before moving on to New England this weekend.
The storm dropped about 2 inches (5 centimeters) on the course at Marana, Ariz., and forced golfers to stop playing the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship’s first round, according to a PGA Tour statement. Kansas City International Airport was closed until 11 p.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website.
“It is turning into quite the snowstorm,” said Rob Carolan, founder and meteorologist at Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, N.H. “They could get 2 feet of snow in parts of Kansas. It’s going to be the biggest storm they’ve had since February 2011.”
Winter storm warnings and advisories stretch from New Mexico to Virginia, including Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati, according to the National Weather Service.
As of 10 a.m. East Coast time, 340 flights were canceled in the U.S., with 166 of them into or out of Kansas City International in Missouri, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking company. Snow and ice was causing delays as long as 38 minutes at Denver’s airport, according to the FAA’s website.
Chicago may receive 3 to 5 inches of snow starting tonight and continuing through tomorrow, while St. Louis may get 4 inches, according to the weather service. Heavy snow is possible from eastern Colorado through northwestern Indiana, according to the weather service.
Parts of Kansas and Missouri have a 60 to 80 percent chance of receiving more than 12 inches of snow by tomorrow, according to the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in College Park, Md.
The system is expected to spawn a nor’easter off the East Coast that will bring snow to New England for the third weekend in a row, said Charlie Foley, a weather service meteorologist in Taunton, Mass.
There is a 40 to 60 percent chance that parts of northern Massachusetts, southern Vermont and New Hampshire may receive more than 12 inches of snow, according to the hydrometeorological center. New York City is expected to get mostly rain, Carolan said.
Foley said Boston may get 2 to 4 inches of snow. The storm’s track will determine how much snow an area gets because forecasters expect mostly rain to fall in eastern areas.
“Where it is all snow, it could be 12 inches or greater,” Foley said. “In the transition zone, about 6 inches. Cape Cod looks like a wet event rather than a white event.”
In addition to the snow, there may be wind gusts as strong as 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour and some coastal flooding, according to the weather service.
Foley said the storm won’t have the power of the blizzard that struck New England starting Feb. 8, killing at least seven people and dropping 24.9 inches of snow on Boston.
Because the system will bring heavy wet snow, the region may see some power outages, Carolan said.